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The three R's: relax, refresh, recharge

Let go of the stress of the school year by trying out some of these methods

By Hannah Kintner
On October 11, 2012

Feeling tired, stressed, burnt out or just unmotivated? Probably. With the seventh week of classes underway, it seems that fall break has come at just the right time. So take some time to recharge your batteries.


Cook something and eat at home

If you're living on a meal plan, it can be easy to eat far too many fried foods. When you eat better, you feel better, so be intentional about eating well this break. Cook dinner with a friend or family member if you're going home. Freshman Lauren Kulesa is looking forward to spending time with her family.

"We've been away from our families for a while now so it'll be a nice reunion," Kulesa said.


Try a new workout

After spending a great deal of time at your desk this semester, get high on endorphins by stopping at your local gym to try a new workout class. If this break inspires you to commit to a regular exercise routine, purchase an exercise video that you can continue on campus, or check out some of the recently added fitness classes in Howard Hall.


Do your homework early

It's easy to forget about schoolwork when you go away for break, but the dark cloud of unfinished business can hang over your head all week if you're not careful. Not only will you feel guilty for having fun when your homework isn't done, but you'll hate yourself the day before school starts up again if you procrastinate too long. Try setting aside homework time at the beginning of break to ensure that you'll have enough time to complete everything, and you'll be able to jump back into classes completely relaxed and caught up, rather than stressed, frazzled and tired.


Make art

Give yourself a break and use that brainpower for something fun. Chances are you have something on your list of do-it-yourself projects, and making time for it can be beneficial to your health. Art is often used as therapy promote mental, physical and emotional well-being, so do yourself a favor and create something wonderful.


Play with a puppy or a kitten

Pets are adorable and not being allowed to have them in the dorms can be a real bummer. I don't think anyone would doubt and animal's ability to bring a person happiness, but if you need scientific proof: a study by the University of Missouri showed that when people played with dogs for just a few minutes a day, brain chemicals responsible for mood elevations rose. Give your dog a hug when you get home!


Get some sleep

Surely we've all been deprived of sleep these past few weeks, and fall break is a great time to catch up and get rid of those dark circles under your eyes. Not only will it feel good to get enough sleep, but according to, sleep can also improve your memory, spur creativity, help you lose weight, lessen stress and promote emotional stability.


Reconnect with yourself outdoors

If you're staying in Portland for fall break, check out Forest Park -conveniently located on the west side of the St. John's Bridge - or bike to Sauvie Island beach.

Senior Zack Muth believes people are given a unique opportunity to reconnect with themselves when they are surrounded by nature. Muth suggests students dedicate time this fall break to separating themselves from the distractions of the city.

"My family and I are going down to Odell Lake to do some camping," Muth said. "No cell phone, no computer. I might bring a book with me, but we're going to go down and just unplug."



An afternoon spent serving others is far more satisfying than one spent on, so lift your spirit and the spirits of others by volunteering.

Becca Chavez, a senior and Campus Volunteer Coordinator, will continue her service work at St. Andre's Chapel in Chinatown over break, and other student volunteers are welcome. At St. Andre's, students are given the opportunity to socialize with and serve food to the financially-burdened in a Christian environment.

"It's a really unique and welcoming community that will love you while you're there and miss you while you're gone," Chavez said.

If you're sticking around campus for fall break, join Becca Chavez to serve dinner. Contact her at

visit for other service opportunities.

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